Ggma Reviews Airbnb

27 04 2015

Last summer Best Boy bought the Dr. a big toy for his birthday – a “mid-life” motorcycle. Two safety courses and MDOT endorsement secured had us planning a week long trek mid-September from LA up the Cali coast on the Pacific Coast Highway-Route 1 and back down via Yosemite and the Mojave. The guys on their bikes with Mimi and me in their GTI (chase vehicle), we were off. IMG_0027IMG_0028-1

This adventure will be recounted eventually but for now it’s just to set the scene. I was going to be MIA for a bit. Ggma was all set-up safe and sound tucked in at TOH (The Old Homestead).  Meanwhile we were exploring abodes via Airbnb. Each one of the places we stayed had a unique charm.

Airbnb isn’t everyone’s cup of tea – opening a home to complete strangers or being the stranger inhabiting someone else’s space. Nightly, with great expectation we’d drive up to an address, secure the keys and play house. There were a few places we wanted to pocket the keys and become squatters while others weren’t more than a lay-over for our weary heads – glad to move on down the road after a few hours rest. Nothing was so scary or strange to make us want to pack up and leave.

Surprise sleeping arrangements weren’t much of a stretch for Best Boy, the Dr. and me. In our previous life, it was called a furlough. An ironic term -“furlough”. The standard scenario was a missionary family would report to churches that had financially invested in them (you know Return On Investment and reporting to the shareholders type of thing). I think we had 30 churches to visit. Typically we were hosted in parishioner’s homes. I shudder as I write those words. 99% of the meals and accommodations were perfectly lovely encounters (especially if you, dear reader, happened to have hosted us at some point). But that 1% is like gravel imbedded in a leg after laying a motorcycle down on a curve – too painful to dig out every last piece and just barely visible under the skin so as to never be forgotten. Again, I go on record to declare I have writing material for years to come as this is way cheaper than any therapy.

It takes some serious chops to continually be in someone else’s personal space and not go bonkers. An overnight might not be long enough to notice things that would be a complete creep out. Since being hosted was part of our lifestyle, we had zero reservations about letting others use our apartments in Spain (yes, plural because we lived in five places in a little over a decade). If we were Stateside for the summer visiting those churches, our empty place was open to house travelers with co-workers managing the bookings. Sometimes guests would leave behind thoughtful hostess gifts. One in particular was  unforgettable and left in the most interesting place – peeking out from under a bookshelf in our bedroom – a hot pink thong. Honeymooners. ’nuff said.

Back to the story at hand. Having returned from the West Coast, I went to catch up with Ggma and immediately assessed she was no longer comfortable with any kind of absence on my part. We were at another fork in the road. By December, with nasty weather threatening our doorsteps, a new plan was improvised. Ggma would now be “riding in a sidecar”.  She’s in our space at the Money Pit or I’m in her space at The Old Homestead.

After about two months journeying on this new path during an extended stay at the Money Pit she asked,

“Where’s the lady who owns this house?”

“Well, the Dr. & I own this house.”

She scowled at me with that look like I was lying through my teeth. Clearly we were having one of those moments. This can’t be fixed.  This can only be managed. This I know: in her eyes, at that moment, I couldn’t possibly be the owner of the Money Pit and she wanted a word with whoever was in charge.

“Well, (with a tone of disgust) I am ITCHING to get at that filthy front window I’m staring at all day!!”

Distraction is the best course of action to move us along this road to ruin. Trying to go over the fine points of the family tree is futile. I had opened the drapes and sheers so that she could enjoy a clear view as she monitors the comings and goings of UPS, FedEx, USPS, garbage trucks, day-care drop offs and pick ups across the street, and oh, yeah – school buses. I hear it all. She’s got an eagle eye on when school is out and those kids are running hither thither and yon – when they aren’t wearing jackets and they should be headed indoors to get at their homework.

mcscWith a subtle move, simultaneously opening the front door to grab the mail,

the sheers were drawn shut.

Out of sight. Out of mind. End of discussion.

But this place where she’s staying – whoever owns it – needs a housekeeper.

Her Airbnb rating: Two stars…maybe.

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stairway to heaven

8 06 2009

stairway1Notice that the garbage can notes the location.  These have been up and down days.  Emotional roller-coaster days for sure.  Long hours, hard work, tedious work – good work days and bad work days.  Life keeps happening around us even tho we are in this creative bubble.

DSC_0022The phone rings we get news that disturbs.  One of Best Boy’s business partners quite by accident – literally – discovers he has a brain tumor (check out his blog).  It reminds us all that we are living on a faultline.  None of us knows from one day to the next what will come our way.  But we know WHO is in charge.

nitewindowThe sun comes up  – the sun goes down each day has its own trouble – no need to worry about tomorrow’s trouble.  Living in the moment and hanging on for dear life.





(1 – (U/c)2)1/2

19 03 2009

dsc_0009Einstein – time/space physics-and lots of other things I will never understand.  Oh, and one more…the weird thing is that nothing feels weird.  You step back into a space where you just know things and you don’t know how you know.  Maybe your brain was just hybernating.  On a mini-road trip you see the barrels stacked beside the road.

dsc_00081Here is where you will get things that taste just as they should.

dsc_0011Coca-Cola is sweeter even if you are drinking it beside a busy national highway heavy with truck traffic.  But that is part of what you already know.  The food is home made and it will be good.

dsc_0012And there will always be lentejas (lentil stew).  And you will eat and eat and eat and be happy.

dsc_00131And when a bus of jubilado day-trippers (retirees) spills it’s contents out on the sidewalk – the priority for some is to get today’s lottery tickets before they stand in the line at the bathroom and gossip about Fulana. But I knew that too. “Es para hoy!”

dsc_0003





sometimes cowgirls…

4 03 2009

dsc_0006I cannot plan ahead for hair appointments or grooming for the dog for that matter. In the fullness of time – I wait till the last minute and am always surprised that things are booked out weeks in advance.  So, it is panic time for me, the Mrs. and the dog who stinks but is going to be ignored a while longer.

Like I’ve dialed up the winning lotto numbers, I find there has been a 2 p.m. cancellation – can I make it?  Of course!  The words on the salon wall make me laugh – these places always make me laugh.  I am NOT a girlie girl – but you probably knew that.  All the ambience is lost on me.  Maybe next time I’ll just make an appointment for myself at the kennel.  dsc_00054

Not only was I trying to get my own mane in order but I wanted the Mrs. to be properly coiffed before her trek South next week. It gets a bit more complicated with her since driving to and from an appointment where any pressure has been put on her neck with a shampoo bowl, comb outs, tugging and rolling can put her into a tail spin thanks to the delicate nature of the tangle of nerves and bones and narrowing of the spinal cord.  So I needed to be there.

There were no appointments to be had in the time frame that worked.  I remembered another girl from their church who has a salon.  On the off chance she might have something available,  I called.  She was thrilled to have the opportunity to help out. I explained the situation and the reason I needed to be there for transportation but it wasn’t working with what time slots were blank in her schedule until she offered a solution.  Since they home school their kids and her husband worked from home on Wednesdays while she was at the salon – why couldn’t he be a chauffer for the Mrs.?

I couldn’t get over the excitement in C’s as she anticipated pampering the Mrs. There had been a conversation between the two of them on Sunday where the Mrs. said she felt like a rich old person going south for the “winter” – (had that been the case – this trip would have been months ago!!!).  Nonetheless, she is excited for her change of scenery and to enjoy seeing a son, daughter-in-law, two grandkids and their spouses and two great-grandkids.

So yesterday I felt like alot got accomplished.  I got some of my hair whacked off and today, 150 miles away, the Mrs. will get permed and prissy without me. There are still good people in the world.  People who love to love on others who they aren’t even related to.  People doing kind things and going out of their way to dote on others.  Maybe it’s just the nature of the salon/spa business.

Meanwhile, I’ll take another day before I head to her place to make sure she has her bags packed and is ready for the Lone Star State before I mount my pony for the country that put Texas on the map.  So here’s to cowgirls gettin’ purdy.mi